Melbourne's #1 Food Market

Sustainability at the Market

At Prahran Market we take sustainability seriously. We’re not only committed to the environment but also the wellbeing of our communities by making sure we’re acting on a well-thought-out sustainability plan. 

We understand that working together has a greater impact for everyone, so we spoke with our Market Traders to gather input on how they and the Market, as a whole, can become more sustainable. 

With that in mind, we created a number of ways to progress our sustainability practices, which stand today to increase waste minimisation and resource efficiency. 

Read on to find out more about Prahran Market’s sustainability practices.


Electricity efficiency

With the vast array of businesses we have within the Market we knew that electricity efficiency was an area we had to focus on. We set about understanding the overall use of electricity across the Market and installed time clocks, sensors and energy saving lamps throughout. We also upgraded all our lighting to low energy LED lighting in August 2022. These actions have seen a 25% reduction in power usage, and we have reduced our peak demand usage from 315Kw to 241Kw. 


Gas reduction

Reducing our gas emissions has also been front of mind. Recent upgrades to our boiler system have resulted in a major reduction to our gas usage and an upgrade of our gas heaters in the fruit and vegetable hall has introduced improved efficiencies. 


Water savings

Using water-saving techniques saves us all money and diverts less water from our beautiful rivers and bays which helps keep our environment healthy. This one has really been a team effort and we engaged with all of our Traders, providing them with education sessions on how we can all support a decrease in water usage. By the installation of pressure reducing valves, hot and cold sub water meters for monitoring purposes, rain harvesting systems (with a 70,000 litre capacity) and toilet upgrades we’ve managed to reduce our overall water usage from a whopping 45 mega litres to 20 mega litres over a ten year period – that is around 400 domestic sized swimming pools every year!



Recycling is a big topic for both businesses and households. By reusing paper, cardboard, glass, polystyrene and other materials we can save production and energy costs. At Prahran Market we are recycling 162 tonnes of cardboard every year and 100% of our polystyrene. These are collected and recycled to make other materials. We also recycle our office paper, air-conditioning filters, and printer cartridges. 


Organic Recycling

Being a Market, we knew we had to do something about all our organic waste – after all, it is the heaviest component of our general waste. We put our minds together and did our research on how to best reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that come from the organic waste that we produce. 

Green waste and fish offal: we installed a Gaia food waste machine which not only helps to reduce odours but recycles all our fish offal (95 tonnes annually) and green organic waste (166 tonnes annually) and turns it into rich garden food. This machine also helps in harvesting water that is used to flush toilets in our public bathrooms by capturing around 700,000 litres of water during the waste dehydration process.

Chicken, fat, and bone: we send around 323 tonnes of chicken, fat and bone off site every year which is used in all sorts of animal foods or pressed for oils. 

Cooking oil: each year our Traders use around 4,000 litres of cooking oil. We’ve put in a process to collect this used oil which is then recycled and processed into biofuels. 


Food donation

We know how important it is to give back to the community. In saying this, we are very proud to say that Prahran Market was the first Melbourne Market to donate fresh food and we were the first business to donate to SecondBite. Each year we donate close to 40 tonnes of fresh food to SecondBite, which provides enough for around 74,000 nutritious meals a year! The charity distributes the produce, which would normally end up in landfill to around 70 different agencies which help people who are homeless or disadvantaged. 

We won’t stop reviewing and developing our sustainability processes – we’re just getting started! We have plans to continue our good progress by investigating options for solar hot water and power and Voltage Power Optimisation (VPO) Technology


*All statistics current as of September 2022

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